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Health Tips Decade By Decade

Each decade of life welcomes new health milestones. And health tips can help guide you along the way. Let’s have some fun and remember some of the cultural markers that defined your youth, along with health actions for your age. Find your decade and then keep your story going strong by taking good care of your health.

Age 20s (born in the 90s)

“Mean Girls” and “The Lord of the Rings”

Reality TV

MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Skinny Jeans

Eminem, Destiny’s Child, Backstreet Boys

9/11

Age 20s Health tips: Lay the foundation now for a healthier life later.

  • Protect your hearing. Turn down the volume and/or shield yourself from loud noises to prevent hearing loss.
  • Build bone mass. Be sure to get enough calcium and weight bearing exercise to develop peak bone mass and protect yourself as much as possible against osteoporosis later in life.
  • Begin women’s health screenings. It’s time for Pap test and sexually transmitted disease (STD) screenings.
  • Guard against injuries. Wearing protective gear for sports and warm up exercises prevents injuries that can cause problems now and in the future.
  • Pay attention to what you eat. Forming a habit now of healthy eating has lifelong benefit.

Age 30s (born in the 80s)

Hip-hop

Harry Potter

“Friends” and “The Simpsons” and “Seinfeld”

The birth of the digital age

CDs & VHS & Dial-up internet

Y2K

Health tips: Pay attention to small changes.

  • Watch your weight. A slowdown in metabolism can lead to weight gain, and a few pounds a year add up quickly.
  • Protect your skin. Wearing sunscreen with at least 15 SPF while outdoors protects from skin damage, including cancer. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, too.
  • Reduce stress. Stress takes a toll on your body in the present and future.
  • Get regular medical checkups and screenings. Good preventative care may provide early warning of health issues.
  • Consider pregnancy risks. Pregnancy-related health problems increase after age 35. An OB specialist may be helpful.

Age 40s (born in the 70s)

MTV & VJs

Boomboxes and Break Dancing

The first Apple computer

Car Phones

Michael Jackson and Madonna and Princess Diana

Shoulder Pads and Parachute Pants

Health tips: Get ready for transitions.

  • Look out for perimenopause. As estrogen levels decrease, you may have hot flashes, trouble sleeping, irritability and decreased sex drive.
  • Book a mammogram. The American Cancer Society recommends mammography screening for early detection of breast cancer.
  • Check in with your diet. Are you continuing to eat healthy and smaller portions to adjust for slowing metabolism?
  • Have an eye checkup. Eyesight declines as we age and many people begin wearing glasses in their 40s.
  • Pay attention to blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes may appear, and many people aren’t aware of having the disease. Ask your doctor.

Age 50s (born in the 60s)

Disco

Women’s Liberation

Eight track tapes

Bee Gees and Peter Frampton and Joan Jett

Pet Rocks

Platform Shoes

Health tips: Take care of yourself.

  • Prepare for menopause. The average age of menopause for U.S. women is 51.
  • Schedule a colonoscopy. Doctors recommend the first screening at age 50 unless you have a family history, then sooner is better.
  • Stay active. Physical and mental activity can make you feel better.
  • Get a physical exam. A checkup at least every two years establishes baselines so that your doctor can watch for important changes.
  • Ask your doctor about an electrocardiogram (EKG). Cardiovascular disease accounts for as many as one of every three deaths in the U.S.

Age 60s (born in the 50s)

Color TV

The Beatles and Rolling Stones and Janis Joplin

Hippies

Civil Rights and Anti-War Protests

Man lands on the moon

Miniskirts

Health tips: Step up your game.

  • Get enough vitamins. Your body may require supplements for essential vitamins such as vitamins D and B.
  • Add fiber and water to your diet. The additions can help protect against colon polyps, a common condition for those over age 60.
  • Keep moving. Moderate exercise for 150 minutes a week may lower your chance of developing coronary artery disease by 15 percent.
  • Get recommended cancer screenings. Your chances of getting cancer increase with age.
  • Stay vaccinated. Flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines may be helpful as you’re more vulnerable to catching these illnesses.

Age 70s (born in the 40s)

Baby boom

Suburbs

Cold War

The birth of rock ‘n roll

Elvis Presley and Little Richard and Chuck Berry

Poodle Skirts

Health tips: Embrace the aging process.

  • Remove skin tags. You’re more likely to notice skin tags, which a doctor can take off through freezing or cauterizing.
  • Men, see your urologist. More than half of men in their 70s will have prostate issues.
  • Defy cognitive decline. Exercise, intellectual stimulation and social interaction can help keep you sharp.
  • Refuse to live with pain. Joint replacement surgery may be necessary and is quite common, with relatively quick recovery times.
  • Check your eyes. Cataract surgery is common for people in their 70s and may improve vision.

Stay healthy and remember to have some fun – whatever your decade!

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